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BossHawg
11-01-2010, 02:29 PM
It's my plan to open a BBQ restaurant late spring or early summer. I have already started to build my team...accountant...lawyer....insurance person. What else should I look out for, my lawyer will handle the liquor permits.

landarc
11-01-2010, 02:56 PM
Sourcing of food materials. Really a huge issue at times.

BBQ Grail
11-01-2010, 03:01 PM
A butt load of money...

bam
11-01-2010, 03:28 PM
Other than a small fortune a great source for meat,spices and veggies.

Sawdustguy
11-01-2010, 03:51 PM
Have you ever run a resturant before? If not, my recommendation is for you to look for a partner who either owns or has owned a resturant. It will be extremely risky, but not impossible to run a resturant and learn as you go along.

Dr_KY
11-01-2010, 07:05 PM
Equipment and a source for woods, seasonings , Pitmaster and assistant,etc.

HandsomeSwede
11-02-2010, 10:01 AM
Check on zoning laws in your area in relation to your smoker. I'm assuming you have a rig but I know in some counties around me (in the always free, always logical state of NY) zoning does not allow outside rigs. There will be a huge start-up cost difference if you need to install an indoor Southern Pride Smoker, ventilation system, etc.

BossHawg
11-02-2010, 10:21 AM
Thank you for all your replies, you have givens me some things to think about.

BBQ Grail
11-02-2010, 01:15 PM
Thank you for all your replies, you have givens me some things to think about.

Good luck on whatever you decide.

crd26a
11-02-2010, 03:42 PM
You might want to check out the Ole Hickory Restaurant classes that they offer. Check the Bullsheet for the info, I think theres one in January

42BBQ
11-02-2010, 03:51 PM
Have always thought little roadside building with enough room for a cash counter, bar type counter and a few outdoor tables is perfect for a Que joint. Recently caught an old Man V. Food that featured Pappy's in St. Louis. They only cook enough for a day at time, never serve leftovers, if they run out of Que at 4:00 p.m. they shut down for the day. Interesting concept, seems dedicated to serving only good quality BBQ. Only open for a few years and already voted number one in the city. Looked like my kind of place.

BubbaBones
11-02-2010, 04:19 PM
A really good business plan is probably the most important thing that you will do for your potential business.

goodbuddiesbbq
11-03-2010, 03:14 PM
1. You need to truly walk through your menu and make sure that you can execute it...PERFECTLY...QUICKLY...CONSISTENTLY! Portion everything...everything...everything!
2. Food is pretty consistent if you can find good providers. My advice would be to team up with a restaurant depot for the majority of your food as they typically run about 25% less than Sysco and others (aside from proteins). A lot of times, Restaurant Depot (not an RD employee) will have a person that delivers in refrigerated trucks for a flat fee. You will save a TON of money and they carry most of what you need. If not...get a newer Sysco rep...preferably a woman...they may not know as much about food early on (assumption on my part), but they will not lie and shift prices as much as the guys do.
3. Location...Location...Location! Although you can't afford to be next to Outback...don't try to be so clever as to create your own brand too far away from the people.
4. Labor can be a beast...if you are a typical restaurant get a good Point of Sale system that can analyze "real time" labor costs. You will save more money than you ever know with this...whether that be making people take a lunch break or getting people off of the clock.
5. Don't be too clever...Be Great at a few things before you are average at a 5 page menu. Also, "borrow" ideas from those that make it work and add to it.

If you want more advice...pm me and I'll give you a call.

Sawdustguy
11-03-2010, 05:01 PM
A really good business plan is probably the most important thing that you will do for your potential business.

+1 Most of the posts have been about how to run the resturant, the food etc. but if you do no not have a good, well thought out business plan, your business, no matter what it is, will never get off the ground. Unless you have all of your own money to get your business going, you are going to need to borrow money. There is no bank or institution on the planet that will finance your venture without a good business plan. It shows the bank that you have thought this whole thing out and your business has a chance at success. It is the single most important thing you can do before starting.

bobrbw
11-03-2010, 05:59 PM
1st and foremost is a consistent product.ANY one can be tought to cook but to do it the same every time is the key.You need someone as passionate about cooking as you and instill your values into that person.your pitmaster is in controll of your place so make sure to choose someone you trust your entire investment in.he or she can help or destroy you.also never change once you get a following.the first time you change you will start to loose customers.never cut corners and get a great crew to work for you.your people are a reflection of you and make sure the first impression is the correct one.

Mo-Dave
11-03-2010, 08:20 PM
A business plan with heavy emphasis on marketing and advertising.

I have to assume you know your way around a kitchen, if not get a job in one to test the water and see if this is what you really, really still want to put your hart, your money and every waking/sleeping moment of your life into.

You may want to even take a small business class from a local community collage. Seek out a local small business organization that help people get started, with a lot of diverse knowledge they have in their group, they will be able to help with the plan.

Just as important as a start up plan is having an exit plan if things don't do as well as you hoped, that is not the time to be stubborn and try to hang in there when the handwriting is on the wall.

Good luck with your venture and please keep us updated.
Dave

CivilWarBBQ
11-04-2010, 12:38 AM
I'm going to avoid the tangents and stick with the specific topic at hand - assembling a team of experts to assist with operating a restaurant.

- Exterminator. All restaurants are bug magnets. Get a good contract that says you can have them out every other day if necessary.

- Plumber. Start dealing with greasy dishes and public restrooms and something is gonna clog sometime. Make sure you have a guy that will come out after hours.

- HVAC repairman. The hottest day of the year when your walk-in dies with $2,000 worth of food in it is not the time to be looking for a good HVAC guy. Hot commercial kitchens kill reefers as sure as teenage girls will stop up your toilets. Don't ask me how I know.

- Cops. Make friends with the local law. Policy may prevent them from accepting meals, but usually free drinks (non-alcoholic) aren't a problem. Having police cars in your lot often is a good thing, as is being friendly with the law if you ever have theft or drunk problems.

- Bankers. Yes, I said bankers. Get to know as many as you can in your community. Not only will they be your source of funding when you need that surprise $8,000 to repave the parking lot but bankers can introduce you to the businesspeople who buy catering and they usually know what everybody in business is up to. You'll need checking and credit line accounts, credit card processing, etc. Always a good idea to have another banker schmoozed up and ready in case your primary is merged or bankrupted away.

There's more, but that should give you a start.

-gf

Mo-Dave
11-04-2010, 06:25 AM
I'm going to avoid the tangents and stick with the specific topic at hand - assembling a team of experts to assist with operating a restaurant.

- Exterminator. All restaurants are bug magnets. Get a good contract that says you can have them out every other day if necessary.

- Plumber. Start dealing with greasy dishes and public restrooms and something is gonna clog sometime. Make sure you have a guy that will come out after hours.

- HVAC repairman. The hottest day of the year when your walk-in dies with $2,000 worth of food in it is not the time to be looking for a good HVAC guy. Hot commercial kitchens kill reefers as sure as teenage girls will stop up your toilets. Don't ask me how I know.

- Cops. Make friends with the local law. Policy may prevent them from accepting meals, but usually free drinks (non-alcoholic) aren't a problem. Having police cars in your lot often is a good thing, as is being friendly with the law if you ever have theft or drunk problems.

- Bankers. Yes, I said bankers. Get to know as many as you can in your community. Not only will they be your source of funding when you need that surprise $8,000 to repave the parking lot but bankers can introduce you to the businesspeople who buy catering and they usually know what everybody in business is up to. You'll need checking and credit line accounts, credit card processing, etc. Always a good idea to have another banker schmoozed up and ready in case your primary is merged or bankrupted away.

There's more, but that should give you a start.

-gf

What he said, plus a good handy man you can count on to help you when you need. That mite even be the guy that cuts your wood and will do minor maintenance around the place.
Dave

smokesignal
11-16-2010, 10:40 AM
Speaking of business plans, I think its very important. Anybody know where you can get a business plan model to go by?

HandsomeSwede
11-18-2010, 11:22 AM
sba.gov

Homebrewed Q
11-19-2010, 04:58 AM
http://www.restaurantowner.com. This website is also a great resource for potential owners. I have a 3 to 5 year plan to do the same thing. Good luck to ya!

RICK Allen
11-28-2010, 03:41 PM
the hardest thing that I have found about catering opening a restuarant or basically getting into business for oneself ,is convincing yourself to do it, once that huge hurdle is accomplished go for it. The hrs are long and the monetary returns aren't what we all seem to hope for, gone bust 3 times, but I'm still kicking and there is no one to blame for it but me, You can study it to death but in my opinion only Iffin you want to do it do it